5 reasons why winter is the perfect time to start your mindful garden
Would you like to get gardening for your mind but feel like you should wait until Spring to start? Here’s 5 reasons why winter is actually the perfect time to start planning your mindful garden.
Time to get to know your garden
This sounds strange I know- a garden’s a garden right? In reality, just like us, each garden is unique. The sun will fall in different places throughout the day, the soil will be different in consistency and therefore the amount of water and nutrients it will contain.
If you can get to know these things about your garden before you start planning and planting your plants will have a much better chance of success. And instead of forever watering and feeding them, you can actually sit down with a glass of something cool and enjoy your green oasis mindfully.
These observations take a bit of time, so instead of trying to pack it all in once the weather warms up, why not get a head start and do it now. So once March arrives you’re ready to head to the garden centre for plants suited to your space.
It's really easy to go to the garden centre, buy a load of plants that grab your attention and then plant them. Once they all bloom you realise that there are a lot of different colours and shapes going on and they don’t really look like the vision you had in your head.
Before you even step foot in your local plant heaven I suggest heading to Pinterest. Create yourself a board called ‘My Garden’ and pin loads of garden images on there. Don’t edit your choices, just pin anything that grabs you, outdoor furniture, plants, flower borders, vegetable patches, firepits.
Now you can start to use the knowledge you gained about your garden in point one to decide on the location of your borders and what might go in each one.
I suggest planting one border mindfully before moving onto the next. This will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and mean you are more likely to achieve the overall garden look you want.
Time to improve your soil
All soil types benefit from a yearly topdressing of compost or well rotted horse manure.
If applied during spring the nutritious soil will sit on top of your garden beds and borders. This means the plants won't have to send their roots very far to look for nutrients causing shallow root systems. As a result the plants are easy to dislodge (I'm looking at you errant football) and during dry periods your plants will struggle to find enough water. Additionally well rotted horse manure applied on top of the soil can burn some delicate plants.
One way to ensure this doesn't happen is to apply a topdressing to your soil in autumn or winter. That way the worms and other garden wildlife will have time to break it down and incorporate it into the existing soil.
This is especially true if you are planning to create new beds or borders to grow vegetables or flowers.
Add gardening related gifts to your Christmas list
By starting to think about your garden now you will be compiling a list of tools, seeds and plants that you’d like to buy to help you on your mindful gardening journey.
What a great alternative to another set of smellies or pair of socks from Great Aunty Jean. Something you’ll actually use for years to come (a gorgeous wooden handled trowel) or something you can enjoy growing and share the results over Facetime with the loved one who gifted it to you.
Many garden centres offer vouchers valid for a year which can be used to buy seeds and plants once the weather warms up. The Adventures with Flowers gift range for gardeners contains all the tools the new gardener needs to get started and if you’d like a bit more support from me there is my Mind in Bloom gift experience so you can learn new mindful gardening skills alongside a supportive community.
Gives you hope
Despite what people tell you there are bulbs and seeds that can be started in the garden during the colder months.
Tulips for example are best planted in November. A job that gives you that warm sense of comfort in your stomach. That in a few short months the little papery, brown bulb you’ve planted in the soil will become a bold and beautiful flower delighting you for days.
Sweet pea seeds can also be sown during winter. They actually benefit from the cooler temperatures. You will need a warm windowsill to get them started and then a greenhouse or cold frame to grow them on in once they have sprouted.
The act of sowing seeds or planting bulbs signifies to the mindful gardener in the depths of a dreary winter that Spring sunlight and warmer weather is coming. The sight of that first green shoot appearing up out of the soil and the promise of what it is to become is sometimes all you need to lift you through the last couple of months.
If you’d like my help creating a bespoke plan for your garden so you are ready to get planting come Spring you can work with me 1 to 1 on my How to plan your mindful garden coaching.